Superior Web Design for Doctors. Better Patient UX.

Website is First & Foremost a Communication Tool

In the excitement of creating a website, it's easy to get captivated by visuals and anything eye catching. However, as you will see, finding what a user wants is seven times more important.

As we said, there are numerous visual cues to support the message that we wish to send. For lawyers, the color, font, images, etc., all need to support the type of medicine you practice. 

As a physician there is a certain level of polish that patients will expect. They will want to be able to see your credentials, understand your procedures, and be able to book online. 

That may seem obvious. What isn’t always obvious, is the non-clinical psychological state of your patient when deciding to seek care. They are likely hesitant, especially if they do not understand the condition.

Therefore, you will want to cover the clinical with a layer of emotional empathy. I would think that you would want to convey to your patients that you understand their fears, how you can help, and how together, you’ll find the best solution so that they can go on living their lives well. 

This is the tricky part for most scientists or left-brain dominant people. There are colors, images, and designs that you will need to select to be congruent with your message. White and clinical makes people anxious. Warmer tones help them relax.

Next, you will want to make sure that your style of the site matches the socio-economic level of your clientele. If you are on the higher end, you will want images that showcase modern equipment, facilities, and waiting areas.

User Experience (UX): User’s Value Finding Information Fast.

User rate finding what they want easily as the most important attribute of a web design. Function trumps beauty and experience by a seven to one margin among website visitors.

Important factors of web design

Therefore, your design elements should focus on helping your prospective clients find pages on your site versus just creating visual impact.

Therefore, website design should have a natural flow that guides the user to the information they need as quickly as possible. For example, someone might be considering a cosmetic procedure to look younger, but they don't know where to start. One potential flow might be

  1. Anti-aging treatments & procedures - X Things You Need to Know
  2. Do you need a Dermatologist (non-surgical) or Cosmetic Surgeon?
  3. What to look for when choosing a provider
  4. Top Y Questions to ask in your first consultation

Whether this is right sequence or not, it demonstrates the concept of taking a potential patient through a process of steps to help educate them to make an informed choice. This flow needs to be clear and intuitive.  Otherwise, 60% of users leave a site if they can’t find what they need easily.

According to several studies, good UX includes at least these three elements.

  1. It is easy for the user to find what they want. The page has a clear hierarchy of design.
  2. It is easy to navigate both by users and bots. The site map is intuitive and communicated clearly both to the user and to search engines.
  3. It performs as well on mobile as it does on desktop. It’s a seamless experience across all devices.

Simple Navigation That is Clear and Easy to Follow

To have a navigation that is easy to follow requires that you understand how your user is likely to search for information. You client is likely at a different level of experience and knowledge on your are of practice. This is why it is very important to remember that your user may search for information very differently from you. You are an expert in the field, and they are not.

Each Page Should Answer a Question 

As we discussed in Digital Marketing for Doctors and in more detail in Marketing Strategy for Doctors, it is helpful to use the marketing funnel as a construct when thinking about the questions your users might ask.

  1. Top of the Funnel: At this level, users have just begun their search so they are asking broad questions and not looking as closely at specifics.
  2. Middle of the Funnel: Now, users are trying to determine which among a select group is best for them. Therefore, they are looking for reasons why you are the better choice
  3. Bottom of the Funnel: Users are ready to act. Thus, we need to make sure that it is clear and easy for them to complete their task.

As you would imagine, the questions at each level are very different. Using our anti-aging example, a patient who is just starting the process is going to have a whole different set of questions than one who has already made some decisions.

Therefore, it is helpful to write down the questions you think your user will ask at each stage. Then, you want to ensure that you have a page that addresses those questions.

For navigation purposes, you will likely want to have a path for each level of the funnel. A path is a set of linked pages, which aids users based on how far along they are in the process. This brings us to our next topic.  

Importance of Page Mapping

If each page has a question, each question can be linked to a keyword or key phrase. For more about how to identify these keywords and phrases, search engine optimization for doctors will walk you through it.

Page mapping is a best practice because it

  1. Helps to minimize confusion as each page has a clear answer or a means to reach that answer quickly.
  2. Helps indicate to the user and the bot what the page is about.

For these reasons, page mapping is a key step in any design and development process.  

Measure & Monitor Your User Flow

People can be difficult to predict. Even with the best planning, sometimes the flow isn’t quite right. The way a potential client thinks may be very foreign or not. User flow on Google Analytics can really help. You can see how users are browsing the site. By doing so, you can validate your initial assumptions.


If you find users are acting differently versus how you intended. It’s important to take note and make changes. Web design is an evolving activity. Monthly monitoring and testing are recommended. 

Site usability at the navigational level is usually much harder to do once the site is up versus beta testing it before it goes live. If the user flow is clearly indicating a change is needed, it is worth considering whether to make that investment.  

Mobile friendly

A high-quality user experience is important on all devices. Mobile has surpassed desktop as the primary device used to access the web. 

Therefore, many web designs have become responsive. A responsive web design means the site responds and adapts the code (html and ccs) to suit the device on which it is being viewed. 

There are several ways to achieve a responsive design. We discuss the pros and cons of each in our post if you are interested in the details. The main tradeoff between the options is page speed.

Custom websites are more expensive, but they are designed from mobile friendliness from the start, so there is less dependence on a theme to get it right.

Data show page speed is a key indicator bounce rate. If your page takes over three seconds to load, bounce rates balloon. Any bounce is a lost opportunity to influence your user.


The website is the most important communication tool in digital marketing and is the key landing portal of all your digital marketing campaigns and online marketing.

Users value finding information quickly. They rate finding what they want easily over experience or beauty by a seven to one margin. 

To help users find the information they want quickly requires a simple navigation that is clear and easy to follow. You can achieve this by following some best practices 

  1. Each page should answer a question.
  2. Each question should be linked to a keyword or key phrase.
  3. There should be a user path for each level of the funnel.
  4. You will want to monitor users to ensure the path is correct.
  5. If needed, optimize the path as appropriate.

A high-quality user experience is important on all devices. Therefore, you want a design that can meet these demands without sacrificing quality or speed. Both affect your website metrics.

This can be challenging to attempt this on your own, and there are numerous digital marketing companies that can help.

Our digital marketing for Doctors provides a higher level overview. We also encourage to search for you location, as strategies and tactics may change based on location.